Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins Review!


Author: Ellen Hopkins
Average Rating: 4.19/5.0
Personal Rating: 4.5/5.0
Page Count: 608
Publisher: Margaret F. McElderry Books
Release Date: 11 September 2012

According to Goodreads:

Love—good and bad—forces three teens’ worlds to tilt in a riveting novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.

Purchase Links:

My Opinion: 

I have been hearing about and seeing Tilt and Ellen Hopkins for the longest time, and I finally came across her books when I was at the library recently. I picked up Tilt and Tricks to start off with. Have any of you read Ellen Hopkins? Which books of hers do you recommend? I have always been intrigued to read her books, because she writes in verse/prose. However, I will admit that it did take me a bit to get used to her writing style, but once I did I flew through the story.

Keeping all the characters straight was also a bit tricky for me. You have the three main narrators: Mikayla, Shane, and Harley. They were easy to keep track of, but then all the minor characters were thrown in, such as all the parents, siblings, family members, and friends. Everyone was connected to each other, so then you had to remember if they were distant cousins or if their parents were close friends. 

Mikayla's story centered around her belief that she had found the love that everyone searches for in their life. She thought her life was perfect: great grades, awesome boyfriend, cushioned lifestyle. That belief all changes when she finds herself to be pregnant, and Dylan wants nothing to do with being a family of three. We stand on the sidelines as we watch the internal war of keeping her child or aborting the baby in order to keep Dylan in her life. As Mikayla moves further into her pregnancy the decision becomes harder and harder. Her story shows how pregnancy can happen to anyone, whether you are in perfect shape, have great grades, and a nice inheritance or poor as heck and average in every other department. 

Shane falls in love with Alex, who informs him that he is HIV positive. Instead of leaving him, he embarks on a relationship with Alex, who becomes someone he could never imagine being without. Shane's home life isn't in the best shape. He has a four year old sister who has Type I spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which means she can't eat, move, or talk. Her death is always on the horizon. His mom devotes all of her time to taking care of Shelby. Shane's father is absent most of the time, but when he isn't he's passed out drunk or making homophobic remarks. Shane falls into depression, which leads to alcohol abuse and self-medicating in order to dull the pain of not being fully intimate with the boy he loves and not having the proper attention he wants from both of his parents. His story focuses on how dealing with issues your own way can lead to a frightening outcome.

Harley's story focuses on the constant pressure that girls feel to please boys. The pressure to look hot and sexy, so boys will pay attention to them and "love" them. She falls in with a boy named Lucas, who has a goal to take her virginity. He doesn't care about her like she thinks he does, but she still does everything he tells her to do. She slowly realizes this isn't want true love is, but finds that she is in too deep when she finds how easily Lucas can persuade her by whispering sweet nothings in her ear. Her story reiterates the message that you do not need to change anything about yourself (clothes, body size, personality traits) for anyone, especially for those who claim to love you. 

Tilt was a raw read. There were times I was shaking with anger and other times where I wanted to break down with the characters. Hopkins does not sugar coat anything, but instead brings awareness to reality. 


  1. Great review. I’ve read a bunch of Ellen Hopkins’s books. Burned and Smoke are my favorites. I own this one, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thank you! I have heard so much about Ellen Hopkins and her books, but I never took the time to pick one up. So when I saw all of them on the library shelf I jumped at the opportunity to read a couple of them. I'm loving them so far!